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Compulsory enrolment & attendance

By Robert Moore,2014-06-01 03:38
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Compulsory enrolment & attendance

    Enrolment and

    Attendance

    Guidelines

    Effective from 15 June 2010

    Department of Education

    Enrolment and Attendance Guidelines

    1. Enrolment in compulsory education

    1.1 Legal requirements

    ; All children who are at least 5 years of age as at 1 January in any year must be enrolled

    in a school or be provided with home education until the end of the year in which they

    turn 16 unless exempted or excused in accordance with the Act. (Education Act 1994

    Section 4)

    ; From the age of 16 all young people are required to participate in a full-time eligible

    education or training option for at least one year. (Youth Participation in Education and

    Training Act 2005 (Guaranteeing Futures), Section 3)

    ; Upon enrolment the school principal must request a birth certificate or extract of

    birth. (Section 4, Education Act 1994; Secretary’s Instruction No.3: Enrolment)

    ; The school is advised to retain a copy of the birth certificate or other evidence of the

    student‟s identity.

    ; Until a parent provides the required evidence of identity, the student is not considered

    to be legally enrolled.

    ; If there is any doubt about the parent's guardianship or care and control of the child,

    the principal should ask for evidence of their status in this regard including any court

    orders. (Section 4 (5), Education Act 1994)

    1.2 Enrolment Principles

    ; A school-aged child is entitled to enrol at his or her home area school, or may be

    enrolled at another school which does not already have its maximum number of

    students. (Section 19 (1) and (5), Education Act 1994)

    ; A principal cannot refuse the enrolment of a school-aged child at a school other than

    his or her home area school unless the school has its maximum number of students. ; If the principal believes that there are reasons not to enrol the student, or for making

    the enrolment conditional (such as upon the availability of appropriate support or

    resources), he or she should contact the Learning Services General Manager. ; If a school-aged child has been expelled, re-enrolment at another school or college

    must be organised through the Learning Services General Manager.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager can direct that the principal accept the

    enrolment of any school-aged child if the child has not been prohibited from attending

    a State school.

    ; If the principal believes that the school is unable to provide appropriate and safe

    support for a student with health care needs, the principal should not enrol the

    student before consulting with the Learning Services General Manager, as outlined in

    the guidelines on students with health care needs.

    Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 2

    ; Principals should adhere to the policy on inclusion of students with disabilities in

    regular schools. This policy makes it clear that enrolling a student with a disability at

    his or her local school is the preferred option and that principals need to discuss with

    their Learning Services General Manager the school‟s capacity to cater for such a

    student.

    1.3 Exemption from enrolment

    ; A school-age child or class of children may be granted exemption from enrolment to

    enable them to leave school before they turn 16 if it is in the best interests of the

    child‟s/class of children‟s education for this to happen.

    ; Exemption from enrolment may be appropriate when:

    o it is a condition for enrolment in an educational or vocational program being

    offered outside the Department of Education, for example, the enrolment of 15

    year old students in the Polytechnic or Academy (see point 1.4)

    o a student has long-term prospects of stable employment

    o the student‟s health prevents their participation in schooling

    o exceptional circumstances dictate that the student is unable to participate in

    schooling

    o circumstances dictate that the student would benefit from delayed entry into full

    time school (Prep). See Section 1.5.4.

    ; Exemption from enrolments must not be used

    o as a disciplinary action

    o for family reasons such as the need for the student to look after family members,

    help in a family business or maintain the family home

    o because a student is pregnant or parenting.

    ; Exemption from enrolment is granted by the Secretary or delegate at his or her own

    initiative or on application (Education Act 1994, Section 5).

    ; The Secretary may impose any conditions on an exemption which he or she deems

    appropriate. For example:

    o The exemption might be conditional on the student having full-time employment.

    If the employment were terminated, the student would be obliged to return to

    school or to an approved educational alternative.

    o The exemption might be conditional on regular receipt of medical certificates or

    regular reviews of the child‟s circumstances.

    ; Exemptions from enrolment can be revoked, or other conditions can be added, at any

    time.

    ; Until a certificate of exemption from enrolment has been issued, students should not

    be advised that they have received an exemption.

    ; Exemption from enrolment for students in State care should only be granted after very

    careful consideration of the child‟s circumstances and in close consultation with all the

    people involved in making decisions affecting the child (e.g. carers, social workers,

    psychologists, natural parents, youth justice workers, Children and Family Services, and

    advocates).

    ; Exemption from enrolment for students who are independent, living away from home

    and without the care of a parent/guardian/person with care and control should only be

    granted after very careful consideration of the child‟s circumstances. It is appropriate

    to expect the student to accept the legislative requirements of compulsory education. Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 3

    However, students in these circumstances may sign their own application for

    exemption from enrolment.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager will maintain an exemptions data base.

    1.4 Class exemption from enrolment for school-age students enrolling in the Tasmanian Polytechnic and/or the Tasmanian Academy

    ; A current class exemption from enrolment exists for all children who have completed

    Year 10 but are still school-aged, within the meaning of the Education Act 1994, in the

    year following year 10, and are enrolling full-time in the Academy or Polytechnic or

    both.

    ; These students must be able to provide evidence of completion of Year 10 by way of

    either a certificate of completion or of an end-of-year school report.

    1.5 Procedures for applying for exemption from enrolment

    1.5.1 When a parent/guardian/person with care and control applies to exempt a

    child from enrolment

    ; Parents should complete an Application for Exemption from Enrolment form, which

    should be submitted to the school principal.

    ; The school principal should investigate the application.

    ; The investigation may include:

    o consultation with the student (where student has capacity) and the student‟s

    parents;

    o a wider discussion with all stakeholders; and

    o additional information from Learning Services support staff.

    ; Feasible alternatives need to have been explored prior to application. ; A school social worker must provide a report as part of the application and liaise with

    government agencies as required.

    ; The principal should send to the Learning Services General Manager the parent‟s

    application for the child‟s exemption, together with his or her report and

    recommendation for either acceptance or rejection of the application. ; The Secretary or delegate may make any further investigation that he or she considers

    appropriate and will then either:

    o grant the exemption, subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application for exemption with reason.

    ; When an exemption is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will forward to

    the child‟s parents a certificate of exemption from enrolment which will state the

    period of exemption and any conditions. A copy of the certificate will be sent to the

    principal and the relevant Senior Social Worker.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager will include the student‟s exemption details on

    the Learning Service‟s exemptions database.

Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 4

    1.5.2 When the school or Learning Service initiates an application for exemption

    from enrolment

    ; A principal or member of the Learning Services support staff should apply to the

    Learning Services General Manager using an Application for Exemption from

    Enrolment form.

    ; The application should be signed by the student‟s parents and must document reasons

    for the request. The report may include evidence from:

    o the student‟s parent(s), obtained from consultation; and

    o members of the support staff.

    ; A school social worker must provide a report as part of the application and liaise with

    government agencies as required.

    ; The principal must explore all feasible alternatives.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager may make any further investigation that he or

    she believes to be appropriate and will then either:

    o grant the exemption subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application for exemption.

    ; When an exemption is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will forward to

    the child‟s parents a certificate of exemption from enrolment which will state the

    period of exemption and any conditions. A copy of the certificate will be sent to the

    Principal and the relevant Senior Social Worker.

    1.5.3 When an independent student applies for exemption from enrolment ; The principal or social worker should confirm the student‟s independent status.

    ; An independent student should apply to the Learning Services General Manager using

    an „Application for Exemption from Enrolment‟ form.

    ; The application should be signed by the student and must document reasons for the

    request. The report may include evidence from:

    o the student‟s parent(s), obtained from consultation; and

    o members of the support staff.

    ; A school social worker must provide a report as part of the application and liaise with

    government agencies as required.

    ; The principal must explore all feasible alternatives.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager may make any further investigations that he or

    she believes to be appropriate and will then either:

    o grant the exemption subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application for exemption.

    ; When an exemption is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will forward to

    the student a certificate of exemption from enrolment which will state the period of

    exemption and any conditions. A copy of the certificate will be sent to the Principal

    and the relevant Senior Social Worker.

    1.5.4 Delaying entry to full-time schooling (Prep)

    ; There are some circumstances where delaying entry into Prep may be beneficial. These

    include where a child has special educational needs or delayed development. ; A parent of a child may apply to delay entry into Prep if there is a sound educational

    reason.

    ; Parents should apply by letter directly to the Secretary with details of their reason. Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 5

    ; The letter should include the name of the primary school that the child will be

    attending and evidence of endorsement by the Principal of the school.

    ; If granted an exemption allowing a delayed entry into full-time school it is hoped that

    the child will enter or remain in Kindergarten in the year that they would normally

    have entered Prep.

    ; Parents will receive confirmation from the Secretary, or delegate, that an exemption

    allowing a delayed entry into full-time school has been approved.

    If at any time a Parent decides to reverse the decision to delay entry into full-time school

    they are able to do so and, in such a circumstance, are asked to make direct contact with

    the school Principal.

    1.5 Enrolment in certain cases

    The Secretary or delegate has authority to refuse, enrol, or put conditions on the enrolment of a school-age child.

    The Secretary has authority to refuse, enrol, or put conditions on the enrolment of a person who has completed his or her entitlement to education. Refer Education Act 1994 Sections 47, 47A-E.

    1.6 Dual Enrolment

    Dual enrolments can only occur in exceptional circumstances and when the principals of both schools involved agree that a dual enrolment is in the best interests of the child.

    2. Attendance

    For the purposes of this section the word „school includes school endorsed programs

    outlined in a student‟s personalised learning plan.

    2.1 Legal requirements

    ; All children enrolled in a school must attend each school day as required by the

    principal unless:

    o They are absent because of illness, incapacity or other reasonable cause and their

    parents/guardians have notified the school. These students are deemed to be

    “excused” (see Section 2.2.).

    o The principal has required the student not to attend because of infestation or

    contagious disease. These students are deemed to be “excused” (see Section

    2.2.).

    o The student is exempted from attendance (see section 2.3). This includes

    students who have been suspended, excluded, expelled or prohibited from

    attendance through an approved disciplinary process.

    o The student has a certificate for part-time attendance (see Section 2.4).

    ; The principal must ensure that an official record of attendance is maintained for each

    enrolled student. This must include attendance at any offsite provision.

    Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 6

    ; A principal has duty of care for all students while they are attending at the required

    times. The principal must therefore ensure that a departmental record of a student‟s

    individual timetable based on their personalised learning program is maintained. ; The principal is responsible for following up unexplained absences for students

    enrolled at their school.

    2.2 Excused from Attendance

    ; A school-aged child is excused from attendance at a school on any day if the child is

    prevented from attending because of sickness; or temporary physical or mental

    incapacity; or any other reasonable cause as approved by the principal; and a

    parent/guardian of the child has notified the school's principal. ; The principal may require a student not to attend a school during any day on which

    the student has an infestation or is suffering from any disease which, on advice from

    the Director of Public Health, the Secretary considers may be infectious, contagious or

    harmful to the health of other persons at the school. Appendix 2 gives further details

    in relation to infectious diseases.

    ; Aboriginal students may be excused from attendance for up to 5 days per year in

    order to participate in cultural events or activities. Additional days may be negotiated

    with the school and approved by the principal. All cultural leave days must be aligned

    to the personalised learning plan of the student.

    2.3 Exemption from Attendance

    ; Exemption from Attendance is when a school-aged child is exempted from attending a

    school because:

    o the child is being home educated;

    o the child is suspended, excluded, expelled or prohibited from attendance ;

    o a certificate of exemption from enrolment issued on the initiative of the

    Secretary is in force in respect of the child;

    o the child attends what the parents believe to be a registered school.

    ; An exemption under this section ceases to have effect on the day on which the event

    on which the exemption is based ceases to apply.

    ; An application does not have to be made for these exemptions from attendance.

    2.4 Part-time attendance

    ; Part-time attendance is when a student is enrolled in a school but is participating

    part-time in an educational program endorsed by the school.

    ; A student does not have part-time attendance status if they are participating off-

    campus in a full-time school-endorsed program.

    ; Part-time attendance may be appropriate when:

    o a child has a particular medical condition or is effected by medical treatment

    o it is a condition for enrolment in an educational or vocational program being

    offered outside the Department of Education

    o a student has long-term prospects of stable employment

    o particular circumstances impact on the child‟s capacity to engage in full-time

    schooling

    o the child has special educational needs that can best be met through part-time

    attendance.

    Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 7

    ; A student‟s part-time attendance status must be reviewed at least once per term. ; The Secretary has the authority to permit part-time attendance (Education Act 1994

    Section 7). A Learning Services General Manager has this delegated authority. ; Part-time attendance for students in State care should only be granted after very

    careful consideration of the student‟s circumstances and in close consultation with all

    the people involved in making decisions affecting the student (e.g. carers, social

    workers, school psychologists, natural parents, youth justice workers, Children and

    Family Services, and advocates).

    ; Part-time attendance for students who are independent, living away from home and

    without the care of a parent/guardian/person with care and control should only be

    granted after very careful consideration of the student‟s circumstances. It is

    appropriate to expect the student to accept the legislative requirements of compulsory

    education. However, students in these circumstances may sign their own application

    for part-time attendance.

    ; The principal is responsible for:

    o maintaining a record of the part-time attendance details (individual timetable) of

    the student;

    o maintaining a record of the part-time attendance of students according to the

    requirements of their individual timetable and in accordance with DoE guidelines;

    o ensuring regular reviews are held of each student‟s part-time attendance

    arrangements.

    2.4.1 Where a parent applies for their child to be granted part-time attendance ; Parents should complete an Application for Part-time Attendance form which should

    be submitted to the school principal. The application should state clearly the period of

    part-time attendance that is being requested and the review period. ; The school principal should investigate the application and recommend its acceptance

    or rejection. A principal should not forward an application for part-time attendance

    without providing a report which includes his or her recommendation. ; The report from the principal should:

    o state as fully as possible the reasons for the application and the outcomes that

    are anticipated;

    o state the time that the student will attend;

    o show that, where appropriate, there has been consultation with other

    Government departments;

    o state the period of time for which the part-time attendance is requested, and

    mechanisms for review;

    o ensure that the student is fully informed and counselled about the nature and

    implications of the application; and

    o discuss the possible mechanisms for resumption of full-time attendance. ; School social workers have a particular duty to investigate applications for part-time

    attendance and to liaise with relevant government agencies as required. A school social

    worker is required to provide a report on applications.

    ; The principal should send to the Learning Services General Manager the parent's

    application for the child's part-time attendance, together with his or her report and

    recommendation.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager may make any further investigation that he or

    she considers appropriate and will then either:

    Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 8

    o grant the application for part-time attendance, subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application for part-time attendance.

    ; When part-time attendance is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will

    forward to the child's parents a certificate of part-time attendance, which will clearly

    state the period of part-time attendance, the student‟s individual timetable and any

    conditions. A copy of the certificate will be sent to the principal.

    2.4.2 When a school initiates an application for part-time attendance ; A principal, when he or she believes that it is in the best interests of the child's

    education for the child to attend school part-time, should apply to the Learning

    Services General Manager, using an Application for Part-time Attendance form.

    ; The application should be signed by the student's parents and should be accompanied

    by a full report.

    ; The report from the principal should:

    o give as fully as possible the reasons for the application and the outcomes that are

    anticipated;

    o state the time that the student will attend;

    o provide evidence that the student‟s parents have been consulted and that a high

    degree of consultation has occurred with others concerned with the student;

    o show that, where appropriate, there has been consultation with other

    Government departments;

    o state the period of time for which the part-time attendance is requested, and

    mechanisms for review;

    o ensure that the student is fully informed and counselled about the implications of

    the application; and

    o discuss the possible mechanisms for resumption of full-time attendance. ; School social workers have a duty to investigate applications for part-time attendance

    and to liaise with relevant government agencies as required. A school social worker

    must provide a report on applications.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager may make any further investigation that he or

    she believes to be appropriate and will then either:

    o grant the application for part-time attendance, subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application.

    ; When part-time attendance is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will

    forward to the child's parents a certificate of part-time attendance which will clearly

    state the period of attendance, the student‟s individual timetable and any conditions. A

    copy of the certificate will be sent to the principal.

    2.4.3 Where an independent student applies to be granted part-time attendance ; The principal or social worker should confirm the student‟s independent status.

    ; An independent student should complete an Application for Part-time Attendance

    form which should be submitted to the school principal. The application should state

    clearly the period of part-time attendance that is being requested and the review

    period.

    ; The school principal should investigate the application and recommend its acceptance

    or rejection. A principal should not forward an application for part-time attendance

    without providing a report which includes his or her recommendation. ; The report from the principal should:

    Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 9

    o state as fully as possible the reasons for the application and the outcomes that

    are anticipated;

    o state the time that the student will attend;

    o show that, where appropriate, there has been consultation with other

    Government departments;

    o state the period of time for which the part-time attendance is requested, and

    mechanisms for review;

    o ensure that the student is fully informed and counselled about the nature and

    implications of the application; and

    o discuss the possible mechanisms for resumption of full-time attendance. ; School social workers have a particular duty to investigate applications for part-time

    attendance and to liaise with relevant government agencies as required. A school social

    worker is required to provide a report on applications.

    ; The principal should send to the Learning Services General Manager the independent

    student's application for part-time attendance, together with his or her report and

    recommendation.

    ; The Learning Services General Manager may make any further investigation that he or

    she considers appropriate and will then either:

    o grant the application for part-time attendance, subject to any conditions; or

    o refuse the application for part-time attendance.

    ; When part-time attendance is granted, the Learning Services General Manager will

    forward to the independent student a certificate of part-time attendance, which will

    clearly state the period of part-time attendance, the student‟s individual timetable and

    any conditions. A copy of the certificate will be sent to the principal.

Terminology used in these guidelines is in accordance with definitions in the Education Act 1994 (Consolidated) 10

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